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Seoul: Stocks rise as steelmakers jump

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[SEOUL] South Korea's KOSPI stock index climbed on Monday as broader Asian shares edged higher, supported by Wall Street's gains on Friday.

The Chinese central bank's motion to drag the yuan away from 14-month lows also lent support to Asian markets, amid lingering worries over China-US trade. The Korean won gained while bond yields were unchanged.

At 01:29 GMT, the KOSPI was up 8.47 points or 0.37 per cent at 2,296.15. Shares of chip giant SK Hynix fell more than 3 per cent, amid analyst forecasts of a drop in memory chip prices.

South Korean steel stocks gained on expectations of higher steel prices amid China's plans to impose industrial production curbs during winter for the second year in a row.

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Shares of POSCO climbed more than 3 per cent, while Hyundai Steel rose 2.25 per cent and Dongkuk Steel jumped 4.88 per cent.

The won was quoted at 1,124.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.26 per cent firmer than its previous close at 1,127.6.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,124.8 per US dollar, down 0.22 per cent from the previous day, while in one-year non-deliverable forwards it was being transacted at 1,107.7 per dollar.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up marginally, after US stocks ended the previous session with gains. Japanese stocks also edged 0.2 per cent higher.

The KOSPI is down around 7.3 per cent so far this year, and up by 2.95 per cent in the previous 30 days. The current price-to-earnings ratio is 12.10, the dividend yield is 1.28 per cent and the market capitalisation is 1,242.04 trillion won (S$1.51 trillion).

The trading volume during the session on the KOSPI index was 89,079,000 shares and, of the total traded issues of 887, the number of advancing shares was 518.

Foreigners were net buyers of 15,656 million won worth of shares.

The US dollar has risen 5.48 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2, 2018 and low is 1,140.4 on July 19, 2018.

In money and debt markets, September futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 points to 108.11.

The Korean 3-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.65 per cent, while the benchmark 3-year Korean treasury bond yielded 2.112 per cent, barely changed from the previous day's 2.11 per cent.

REUTERS